1. #1
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    Default Hose, lighting, hydraulic rescue tools

    I am the new chief at our small rural fire department, last year we ran 145 calls. I am not very familiar with the federal grant process at this point and I am sure I will have many questions in the near future for you fine folks. When does the application process start?

    Here is my laundry list of things that I would like to see replaced in the near future. Please advise me on what we have the best chances of being awarded on. I don't know if we should include all of these in the grant application or if we should limit it. We are up to date with quality turnout gear and SCBA's due to receiving a grant a couple years ago.

    1. A new set of hydraulic rescue tools: Nothing too fancy, a gas pump, set of cutters, set of spreaders, a couple rams, and some accessories. Our current Amkus set is well over 20 yrs. old, and we are starting to worry about reliability, especially the pump. Also, the pump can only operate one tool at a time.

    2. Supply hose: We currently have 4400 ft. of 3" split between two engines. I would like to go with about 1200 ft. of LDH on each engine. Most of the current hose is OLD as well, and leaks tend to be normal.

    3. Attack hose: We currently run 1.5" for primary attack line, it is also old and some leaky. I would like to upgrade to 1.75". Also, our 2.5" is old and some is leaky.

    4. Nozzles: We are currently using 60-125gpm @100psi turbojet nozzles on the 1.5" lines. I want to upgrade to 150gpm @50 or 75psi nozzles.

    5. Scene lighting: We currently have no apparatus mounted scene lights except for the bullet shaped hose bed lights. Our ground scene lights consist of just a very old generator, some cords, and a few cheap work light fixtures. I would like to get some LED or HID apparatus mounted lights (no on-board generators), a new generator and some decent ground lights, or a couple of the small Honda generators with lights attached.

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    Blaster the big this to avoid is the "laundry list" approach. You say you are in need of hose and nozzles. I would approach this as you grant request. Put everything together that deals with your water delivery needs and go at it like a complete project. Peer reviewers like the complete project appraoch.

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    I agree with WJ 100%. You need to put in for a project that has cohesiveness. You essentially have two of those: An extrication project and a hose/nozzles project.

    Which one should you do first? That's up to you, but if you are like us--and our call volume is almost identical to yours--you spend more time spraying water than chopping cars. So I would prioritize this higher than the rescue tools unless you have a rather different call volume than I would suspect.

    You say you have a lot of leaky hose. Are you pump testing? If not, I would plan to do it as soon as the weather breaks. There are two reasons for this.
    First, you want to be able to say exact numbers of how much of your hose
    leaked or failed during that test. Don't just say you have "some". Say "We had 14 sections of supply line that leaked and three that failed during testing." Second, you want to show that you are doing proper hose maintenance. FEMA won't want to fund you for stuff you won't keep up on your own.

    Also, show that you lack the budget to do this right now. It sounds like you are waaaay behind on replacing and upgrading hose. Write in your narrative that if you could get caught up with FEMA funds, you could buy the annual 100 or 200 feet of replacement hose that it takes to stay equipped, but you just can't go buy it all right now.

    Further, don't neglect to point out that you are well-set on PPE. They will not be as likely to fund other stuff if you haven't established that you have taken care of your people first.

    I could go all day, as could a lot of the other posters. You are seeking help in a good place. Stay in contact with us!
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    You say you have a lot of leaky hose. Are you pump testing? If not, I would plan to do it as soon as the weather breaks. There are two reasons for this.
    First, you want to be able to say exact numbers of how much of your hose
    leaked or failed during that test. Don't just say you have "some". Say "We had 14 sections of supply line that leaked and three that failed during testing." Second, you want to show that you are doing proper hose maintenance. FEMA won't want to fund you for stuff you won't keep up on your own.

    Thanks for the info you have provided. At least that narrows down my options for what to apply for. Regarding hose and pump testing, our department has never done any testing that I am aware of. There has certainly been no testing in the 15 years that I've been a member there. This is also something that I would like to change for several reasons including what you mention, and helping to improve our current weak iso rating.

    I do have a couple of quick questions regarding this though. Can we do our own testing or is this something we have to hire someone to do? I imagine it is very labor intensive and time consuming, and also expensive if paying someone. If we are able to do it ourselves, what all is needed? Can anyone guide me to test procedures or guidelines?

    I'm sorry if I sound like we are in the dark ages, which I believe we are. I am trying my best to improve this fire department and the services we provide to our community as much as possible.

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    Give me a call


    Mark Stephens 985-380-4617... willing to help if I can.

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    You can do your own hose testing. You will need a few big fat black markers, a bunch of index cards, and a number of warm bodies. There is help out there on how to do hose testing.

    I'd hire a professional to do pump testing. About $200 per truck, I think. It's worth it because a good mechanic will be able to diagnose problems during testing.

    Your bad ISO rating situation is further ammo for your grant. Make lemonade!
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    We also currently have no monitors, portable or apparatus mounted. Would this be a good time to apply for them as well?

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    Yes, it all ties to the project.

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    As far as that goes, do an overall ISO inventory. Get the minimum equipment list from www.isomitigation.com and see what all you need to get up to snuff. My department got funded in 2004 for what I called an ISO preparation project. We replaced a ton of hose, got new foam eductors, got a generator, and other stuff. FEMA might quack a different story now, but at the time it worked. So consider gated wyes, hose jackets, and whatnot as you build this thing.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    As far as that goes, do an overall ISO inventory. Get the minimum equipment list from www.isomitigation.com and see what all you need to get up to snuff. My department got funded in 2004 for what I called an ISO preparation project. We replaced a ton of hose, got new foam eductors, got a generator, and other stuff. FEMA might quack a different story now, but at the time it worked. So consider gated wyes, hose jackets, and whatnot as you build this thing.
    I was at one of the AFG grant writing classes that FEMA puts on and asked about mentioning in the narrative how the grant could help our ISO rating and they said not to do it. Said they were all about preparedness, readiness, and safety and could care less about insurance rates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blaster668 View Post
    We also currently have no monitors, portable or apparatus mounted. Would this be a good time to apply for them as well?
    Does your needed fire flow call for monitors? If your NFF is only 250, a deck gun is likely not going to be an issue, but a play pretty. Although ISO lists them on their equipment list, they only give credit if the NFF calls for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Co59Bob View Post
    I was at one of the AFG grant writing classes that FEMA puts on and asked about mentioning in the narrative how the grant could help our ISO rating and they said not to do it. Said they were all about preparedness, readiness, and safety and could care less about insurance rates.
    That may be what they're about, but I've put in information regarding how the grant project would affect our ISO in nearly every grant I've wrote. I do it in the cost/benefit section where I can show a financial benefit to our citizens. Doing so in the project description or impact on daily operations isn't the place to put it.

    I'll reiterated what others have said about doing them in a logical project. I've managed to get us what might look like a laundry list of equipment more than once by using the equipment as an entire project.

    One was a water supply project that included LDH, adapters/appliances, intake valves, hard suction hose, suction strainers, and TurboDrafts. Another was a fire attack project that consisted of 1 3/4" hose, new 1 3/4" and 2 1/2" nozzles, blitz monitors, a portable master stream for a truck that didn't have one, a CAFS skid, and a hose coupling machine to take care of it all (already have a hose tester or I would have included it). The one we just got was a firefighter safety project that had a fit-test maching, posi-check to do our own SCBA maintenance (can't afford $50+ per pack), RIT equipment (K12, TIC, Stokes basket), and equipment to perform medical assessments on FF's (cardiac monitor and CO-oximeter).

    Drop me a PM/email with your email address and I'll share any of them you'd like to give you an idea of how I formulated them.

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